Sustainability group plans for Volunteer Park include rainwater system for conservatory, recycled water for wading pool

Volunteer Park wading pool, circa 1970s (Image: Seattle Municipal Archives)

A small group has big plans for an environmentally responsible overhaul of Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park including a project to put rainwater to use in the landmark conservatory and a plan that could eventually make the park’s popular wading pool more sustainable.

The Volunteer Park Sustainability Coalition will has been revamping projects geared towards making use of summer weather, rain or shine. The coalition plans to make its Free Effective Rainwater Now (FERN) project an educational experience for the public along with furthering plans to improve the park’s wading pool pump system.

“The rainwater harvesting concept has existed for probably five years at this point, but using it as an educational tool is a much newer aspect that we’re trying to work into the project,” said Sejal Soni, a volunteer with the VPSC. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Partly cloudy with Thunderpussy — but no rain — at the 2019 Volunteer Park Pride Festival

With fairy wings, rainbow swimsuits, hip-hop funk, blues, and rock and roll, the Volunteer Park Pride Festival brought Seattle’s celebration of LGBTQ+ to Capitol Hill Saturday as part of a busy month of events in the neighborhood culminating with a weekend of parties around Pike/Pine and Broadway before the city’s annual parade on June 30th.

“The event being in the backyard of where I grew up is such a huge thing for me. I’m so proud to be on stage singing my heart out for the Seattle queer community,” J GRGRY, one of the musical artists who performed at Saturday’s festival told CHS. Continue reading

Ginsberg poetry festival and art installation to join Volunteer Park’s Pride 2019 festivities

If You Want To See Something Look At Something Else by Geoffrey Farmer

With Saturday’s Volunteer Park Pride Festival again bringing the celebration of queer love and civil rights to the northern Capitol Hill green space, two Seattle arts groups are planning a new Pride event for the historic Capitol Hill park.

Hugo House and Western Bridge announced this week they will host a poetry festival celebrating Beat poet and LGBTQ icon Allen Ginsberg  later this month in Volunteer Park. The festival will include local and visiting poets, writers, and artists, and a photographic installation by Canadian artist Geoffrey Farmer titled If You Want To See Something Look at Something Else, displaying images of Ginsberg.

Tree Swenson, executive director of Hugo House, believes the festival captures how Ginsberg’s advocacy for the LGBTQ community remains prevalent in 2019 through exhibitions of art, photography, spoken word.

“Ginsberg’s politics along with his loving kindness allowed him to advocate for acceptance in many different ways. He led the way to showing how make acceptance a reality, which is still important in 2019, given the threats we’re facing echo some of the threats his book Howl faced in the late 1950s.” Swenson said.

Ginsberg poetry festival and art installation: If You Want To See Something Look At Something Else

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Project to replace Volunteer Park amphitheater in 2020 get funding boost from state

The Washington state legislature approved dedicating $500,000 of the state’s budget to funding a new amphitheater in Volunteer Park, allowing the space to continually fulfill its role as a community gathering place on Capitol Hill, the Volunteer Park Trust community group announced.

“With the generous backing of our community, The Amphitheater Project will replace the current concrete and brick structure with a modern facility that will have a roof, storage and green room space, all-gender bathrooms, upgraded electrical access, and a resilient floor that will even accommodate dance performances,” the Trust announcement reads. Continue reading

Volunteer Park Pride Festival, now one of the Seattle’s best days of free music, announces 2019 lineup

Volunteer Park Pride Festival’s 2018 headliner, Tacocat

Born in 2019, the annual festival has grown into one of the city’s largest free music parties

The shifting personality of the annual Volunteer Park Pride Festival into one of the largest free music parties in Seattle was celebrated Tuesday with an announcement of the fest’s 2019 lineup live on KEXP.

Marco Collins, a longtime Seattle DJ credited for helping fuel the city’s grunge explosion on the national music scene and now part of the lineup of voices at the city’s nonprofit music giant KEXP, took to the airwaves Tuesday morning to announce “Seattle-based band and phenomenon” Thunderpussy as the 2019 headliner. Collins is curator for this year’s Volunteer Park Pride Festival and will help host the June 8th event along with drag queen Betty Wetter.

Volunteer Park Pride Festival

The KEXP announcement was a contrast with the lineup announcement for this summer’s Capitol Hill Block Party which typically is done live on the station but took a quieter route in 2019. Continue reading

White powder in hazardous material response at Capitol Hill house turns out to be drugs

Neighbors near Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park saw a peculiar scene unfold Wednesday night as Seattle Fire personnel carefully brought an envelope containing a suspicious white powder out of a home on the block and into the front yard. Fortunately, this wasn’t a terrorist attack on a single family home. Instead, the suspicious white powder turned out to be a drug, a Seattle Fire spokesperson tells CHS.

SFD was called to the home around 9 PM to a report that a suspicious envelope found at the address contained an unknown powder. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Six weeks apart in Volunteer Park

What a difference six weeks makes. Add a couple days and you’ll need a third, cloudier view of Volunteer Park.

Frequent park-area photo sharer Dr. Daniel posted this split image from the Volunteer Park Water Tower showing the juxtaposition between Snowbruary and April’s sunny start. Sorry to say, we’re back to a more normal Seattle spring but, if these photos are any indication, just wait six weeks for things to change again. Continue reading

2019 survey could help set path for Volunteer Park to fully reach Seattle’s 1903 park vision

Volunteer Park circa 1913

Volunteer Park could one day be in line for a $760,000+ upgrade of its paths, plantings, and entryways to help the Capitol Hill green space more fully meet the vision of its original Olmsted design. Brothers John and Frederick Jr. carried forward father Frederick Olmsted’s philosophies and practices of landscape design to create some of America’s greatest urban parks and campuses. In 1903, the city hired the brothers to create a family of parks and boulevards across Seattle.

116 years later, Seattle Parks is conducting a survey to help it prioritize restoration investment in the city’s multitude of Olmsted-designed parks and boulevards: Continue reading

Hundreds in Volunteer Park rally against Trump’s immigration emergency, another protest on Capitol Hill coming this week

With hippie era protest songs and candles, a Presidents Day crowd of hundreds gathered in Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park to protest Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency over immigration at the southern border. A rowdier protest is expected on Broadway later this week.

Monday at Seattle’s gathering part of protests organized in cities across the county, the message was about fighting back, hope, and politics.

“We know that there is no national emergency,” Governor Jay Inslee said in front of the chilled crowd that gathered around the Black Hole Sun statue in the ice-cleared park. “There is only a political emergency because Donald Trump’s abusive, hate filled rhetoric has been rejected by the American people.” Continue reading

Monday night in Volunteer Park: Rally against Trump’s immigration national emergency — UPDATE: Shovel for democracy!

Marchers at November’s protest

UPDATE 3:15 PM: Organizers are finding Volunteer Park is still pretty iced over and are putting out a call for volunteers to help make the space safe for Monday night’s rally. Here’s a message sent to CHS from Maggie Cuevas of SEA NO H8:

we have been hoping snow would melt from the venue for the protest tmrw. it has not. we’ll be staging at sculpture and could use the public’s help to clear sidewalks of snow to provide disabled access plus ensure safety for others. if at all possible to post a call for folks to come help out… in front of the black hole sun sculpture and sidewalks around the space.

They’ll be out there Sunday afternoon into the evening if you have a shovel and would like to lend a hand.

UPDATE 3:30 PM: Don’t head to the park just yet — organizers are working things out with Seattle Parks staff. UPDATE 5:20 PM: Permit issues have been worked out. Stop by Sunday night if you can help shovel. They’ll also be back out before the rally Monday starting at 3:30 PM.

Original report: Political leaders and activists will lead a rally in Capitol HIll’s Volunteer Park Monday night to protest President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on immigration at the southern border:

Join a national day of protest to preserve our constitutional democracy against an illegal power grab by the president to advance his dangerous policies that run against true American values and the rule of law. MoveOn, with the help of local community organizers, is mobilizing national rapid-response events against Trump’s #FakeNationalEmergency and hate-driven agenda. Please join us to stand up for our democracy and to stand with our immigrant, Muslim, and Black and brown communities.

Seattle Protect Democracy Rally

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